Midnight Sun: This Town in Canada Is Experiencing Sunlight 24/7 for 56 Days Straight

PHOTO: The sun rose in Inuvik, Canada at 2:30 a.m. on May 24, 2015 and will not set until July 20, 2015. Courtesy Jackie Challis
The sun rose in Inuvik, Canada at 2:30 a.m. on May 24, 2015 and will not set until July 20, 2015.

Residents of Inuvik, Canada, are having midnight barbecues and going fishing and tanning at 3 a.m.

No, they aren't crazy. They're just celebrating and soaking up the 24/7 sunlight shining down on them for 56 consecutive days.

The northwestern Canadian town is part of a small region around the globe north of the Arctic Circle currently experiencing a phenomenon known as "midnight sun," when the sun remains visible at midnight or later local time.

"Our last sunrise was at 2:30 a.m. this past Sunday, and our next sunset won't be until July 20," Inuvik tourism department manager Jackie Challis told ABC News today. "The sun will just be up high in the sky hovering above the horizon for the next few weeks."

And if you're jealous of the round-the-clock sunshine, just note that Inuvik went through a whole month of complete darkness this past winter.

"Last Dec. 6, the sun set and it didn't rise again until the 6th of January," Challis said. "That weekend, we had what we call a sunrise festival -- three days of drum dancing, ice carving, igloos, food tents, fireworks and just people coming together to celebrate the return of the sun."

Challis added that the town also went through an abrupt temperature change recently. Just last week, it was 14 degrees and there was snow on the ground, she said. But today, it was a comfortable 68 degrees, and green leaves could be seen sprouting on trees.

The town's 3,400 residents, some of whose families have lived there for thousands of years, are used to the extreme weather changes, Challis said.

"We just adapt naturally," she said. "In the winter, we sleep in a lot longer, and when the sun's out we like to stay out longer."

Last sunset until July 20th! #inuvik

A photo posted by @maitai_1983 on May 24, 2015 at 9:58pm PDT

Other cities in the Northwestern Territory of Canada are also experiencing "midnight sun," though not 24/7 like Inuvik.

11pm in the land of the midnight sun ??#home#yukon#kaskaterritory

A video posted by Sho Sho Esquiro (@shoshoesquiro) on May 27, 2015 at 9:50am PDT

"For those who haven't seen the midnight sun, it's a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing," Challis said. "There's nothing quite like it."

Comments